Second Grade is a year where the children mature academically and begin to become independent learners with the aid of a classroom assistant. Throughout the school year, second graders bloom as learners. All of the instruction from Kindergarten and 1st grade comes together and the children become more fluent readers and writers, more confident in their abilities to participate in class discussions and are more able to independently follow oral and written instructions. They strengthen their mathematical skills and focus on whole numbers up to 10,000. The integrated social studies and science themes focus on Australia and the ocean with a center approach. The students continue to engage in small group activities, whole class discussions and independent assignments.
Second graders have become more confident in their math skills and their ability to independently read and solve word problems. Students work with whole numbers counting by 1s, 2,s 5,s and 10s past 1,000 and now read and write whole numbers up to 10,000. In the area of computation students are now expected to demonstrate automaticity with the addition and subtraction facts through 10 + 10. In first grade the children learned to tell time to the hour, half hour and quarter hour. They continue to practice those skills and learn to tell time to five minute intervals. They strengthen their problem solving skills by using graphs to ask and answer simple questions. They also describe rules for patterns and use those rules to solve problems. Many math concepts are reinforced through math games. Computational skills are developed through daily review exercises.
Second grade students continue to be immersed in a literature-rich environment and are now reading harder early-reader books. They are building their oral vocabularies as they listen and participate in classroom discussions. They use a variety of strategies to sound out and read new words and increase their sight word vocabulary. They continue to strengthen their reading and work on reading aloud with fluency and expression. Comprehension strategies such as making connections, visualizing and asking questions and the elements of a story (characters, setting, problem and solution) are the main focus of reading instruction. They take part in independent reading, shared reading and guided reading at their individual levels. Writing instruction consists of writing daily. Students are encouraged to write personal narratives and fictional stories focusing on problem and solution using the writing process which is pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Daily mini-lessons teach story elements, grammar, and punctuation. Spelling is taught through word patterns and word walls.
Science in 2nd grade focuses on the digestive system, water and water conservation and food chain. The themes are taught in six week intervals through hands on activities. Children are encouraged to explore the themes through the scientific method of observing, forming a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis and forming a conclusion. Themes are taught with a short daily mini-lesson and children complete experiments or activities in small group centers.
Social Studies in second grade focuses on Australia, and geography. Students simulate that they are on a trip through Australia visiting the major cities learning about language, food, weather, government money and history. When they reach the Great Barrier Reef in the north they then move on to a study of the ocean and coral reef habitats. This study includes hands on activities and painting of a class mural illustrating the ocean habitat. They end the school year learning about the Aborigines of Australia. They are able to enhance their learning of this ancient civilization by comparing the Aborigines to the Tainos. Basic geographic terms and principles such as continents, oceans, poles, equator, basic elements of maps and globes (title, legend) are reviewed from 1st grade and river, mountains, islands, reef and cardinal directions are taught and worked on through the above themes.
In Sociales, second graders learn about islands and the island of Hispanola. They also study ecosystems of this island such as beaches, deserts, coral reef, mangroves, mountains and rivers. They then complete an in-depth study of the endemic plants of the Dominican Republic. The students also study the first inhabitants of this island which are the Tainos. They learn about the music, language, art and lifestyles of the Taino Indians. The second graders end the year with a focus on the Dominican independence. Sociales classes are taught solely in Spanish beginning with a daily mini-lesson. The children complete experiments or activities in small group centers.